Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Question 3

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Does this CoC include at least two of the following workers’ rights: 1) a formal employment relationship; 2) a maximum working week of 60 hours including paid overtime; 3) a living wage; and 4) to form and join labor unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, to develop parallel means?

Dutch version: Bevat de Code of Conduct minimaal twee van de volgende arbeidsrechten: 1. een wettige arbeidsovereenkomst 2. een werkweek van maximaal 48 uren met vrijwillige, betaalde overuren tot 12 uren maximaal en 3. een leefbaar loon en 4. om te organiseren in een vakbond en collectief te onderhandelen, en gelijksoortige oplossingen te ontwikkelen wanneer deze rechten worden beperkt door de wet?

German version: Beinhaltet der Verhaltenskodex mind. zwei der folgenden Arbeitsrechte: 1. ein formell registriertes Arbeitsverhältnis 2. eine Arbeitswoche von maximal 60 Stunden inklusive bezahlter Überstunden 3. ein zum Leben ausreichendes Gehalt 4. das Recht einer Gewerkschaft beizutreten oder in Fällen gesetzlicher Einschränkungen andere Wege zu einer unabhängigen und freien Vereinigung zu fördern ?

References and Guidelines

For general references about labor conditions see Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Question 1.

The standard mentioned first in this question refers to employment security, and is partly based on ILO Convention 182. The standard relating to the length of the working week is based on the “maximum hours of work” ILO conventions nr. 1 and nr. 14.

The issue of a “living wage”, based on ILO convention 131 (Minimum Wage Fixing) has historically been under discussion. There is ongoing debate about what should actually be meant by “basic needs” and “living wage”. But, as the level of workers’ wages is directly linked to the purchase price that brands are asking, we believe it is important for companies to endorse this concept. We see it as an implicit agreement to pay ‘fair prices’ for the labor they purchase. As far as we’re concerned, companies can and should be held accountable for this promise they make.

Concerning the labor union and collective bargaining standard (4th) in this question, which refers to ILO conventions 87 and 98, please note that in countries like China, there are certain legal restrictions on joining labor unions and on collective bargaining. However, alternatives are still possible. For the situations where these rights are restricted by law, the CoC should enshrine the right to parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining for all workers, as based on ILO Conventions 135 and 154 and Recommendation 143.

There are no certifications for Tour Operators yet. Though Tour Operators increasingly work with certification for accommodations (see Labor Conditions question 1 Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Question 1). From the certification standards that include standards on labor conditions, only Rainforest Alliance includes all standards mentioned in this question.

Ranking Guidelines

Only reward a ‘Yes’ if two of the four standards are clearly mentioned. Please mention in the remark section exactly where you found the statements.

Concerning the living wage standard (3rd), please note that many Codes of Conduct refer to minimum legal wages and industry wages. Legal minimum wages and industry wages do not necessarily cover living costs. Therefore, to contribute to a ‘Yes’ this standard should entail a clear and unconditional statement for wages that cover living costs.

A ‘Yes’ is also applicable when at least 30% of the brand’s accommodations is Rainforest Alliance-certified.


  • All standards are mentioned in [brand]’s [Code of Conduct / Labor conditions policy].
  • [Two/Three] of these standards are mentioned in [brand]’s [Code of Conduct / Labor conditions policy], namely: [...].
  • […]% of [brand]’s accommodations is Rainforest Alliance certified, which means that these standards are included in a part of the company's processes.


  • [... and ... is / are] mentioned in [brand]’s [Code of Conduct / Labor conditions policy]. However, [... and ... is / are not mentioned].


  • [brand] does not communicate any information on a Code of Conduct (CoC) on its website.